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UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, www.eo.ucar.edu Materials used in this workshop are available online at: eo.ucar.edu/staff/rrussell/presentations/

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Presentation on theme: "UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, www.eo.ucar.edu Materials used in this workshop are available online at: eo.ucar.edu/staff/rrussell/presentations/"— Presentation transcript:

1 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Materials used in this workshop are available online at: eo.ucar.edu/staff/rrussell/presentations/ co_sci_conf_playing_wkshop_nov_2010.html The web page also has links to online games, simulations, and virtual labs. Playing with Ecosystem Science: Using Games to Explore the Food Chain, Nitrogen and Carbon Cycles, and Land Use Planning Randy Russell UCAR Office of Education and Outreach

2 Playing with Ecosystem Science Randy Russell UCAR Office of Education and Outreach UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Using Games to Explore the Food Chain, Nitrogen and Carbon Cycles, and Land Use Planning ©2003 International Art Tiles

3 Four activities that foster ecology exploration via simple models UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Available at Windows to the Universe (www.windows2universe.edu). The ExplorationThe Classroom Activity Relationships between species in food chains and balance of ecosystems Food Chain Checkers How nitrogen cycles through diverse parts of the Earth system Traveling Nitrogen Game How carbon cycles through diverse parts of the Earth system Carbon Cycle Game How human can impact the land and watershed Land Planning Activity

4 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, All Models are Wrong… but Some Models are Useful! - George E.P. Box

5 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Land Planning Student groups develop towns and plan for their needs. They take into consideration their local water resources as they make their plans.

6 What about your neighbors? NorthwestNortheast West Southwest East Southeast

7 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Directions: Land Planning Students discover that their communities are connected through use of surface water, wetlands, and shared borders.

8 Food Chain Checkers UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Orca Herring Copepods Diatoms Students play a game that models dynamics of a simple food chain, then they improve the model by making their own rules that better account for the ways that food chains work.

9 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Directions: Food Chain Checkers (round 1) 1. Decide who will play each part in this food chain (diatoms, copepods, herring, Orcas). Each player puts six pieces on the board (start with the diatom player and go up the chain). 2. Objective: Capture your prey by jumping over it. 3. When you capture food, your species reproduces. Remove the prey piece from the board and replace it with a piece from your reserve. 4. Every time the first player’s moves, record the population size of each species on the graphing worksheet. As you play the game, think about how you would improve this model!

10 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Traveling Nitrogen Game Students play the role of nitrogen atoms traveling through the nitrogen cycle to gain understanding of the varied pathways through the cycle and the relevance of nitrogen to living things.

11 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, 1. YOU are a nitrogen atom! 2. The signs around the room mark the 11 reservoirs that you are able to travel between. Chose one to be your start location and add its stamp to your passport. 3. Roll the die at the reservoir to find out where you are going next. 4. To document your travels, add a stamp to your passport at each reservoir you arrive at and record with words how you got there. Then roll the die again and move to the next reservoir! Directions: Traveling Nitrogen

12 UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO, Carbon Cycle Game Through an online game, students learn how carbon cycles through Earth system.

13 “Are ecosystems made of checkerboards?” “Do nitrogen atoms really carry passports?” “All models are wrong… some are useful.” Ensure that students understand the usefulness and limitations of these simple models to avoid science misconceptions. Discuss how the model is similar to and different from what it represents. Brainstorm ways that a model could be improved to better represent Earth processes. UCAR Office of Education and Outreach, Boulder, CO,

14 Available online at: eo.ucar.edu/staff/rrussell/presentations/ co_sci_conf_playing_wkshop_nov_2010.html Grab a bookmark! Web page also has links to online games, simulations, and virtual labs.


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